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Fleet Science Center

san diego ruben fleet science center

Children of all ages are in for a real treat when visiting the Fleet Science Center. From virtual reality to interactive exhibits and the world’s first IMAX Dome Theater, most folks are having too much fun to realize they’re learning! In the IMAX Theater, see the biggest films on the planet and feel the sensation of floating in space. Travel from outer space to under the ocean and see the planetarium shows. Then, tour the more than 100 touchable, try-able exhibits in five different galleries. There’s even a special area just for kids under six.

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San Diego, California is known the world over as a southern California destination. Providing 365 days of access to vitamin D, limited rain and countless days of an outdoor lifestyle, visitors continue to flock to America’s finest city. While the first thoughts of San Diego often refer to oceans, beaches and coastline, science has played a major role in the city for decades. Home to San Diego State University, University of California – San Diego and many more universities, the city continues to have ties to educational institutions who put science at the forefront of opportunities. Known for the competitive strength of medical institutions, oceanography research and home to one of the largest growing biomedical corridors in the country, San Diego and science go hand in hand.

Whether your interests in science are new, old or beginning to peak, the Fleet Science Center is a place to visit. The museums of San Diego are only some of many things that set the city apart from other southern California destination spots. For museum lovers, the Balboa Park Explorer Pass can provide access to five or seventeen of the park’s museums either daily or annually. If finding a way to add that non-traditional learning into your travel itinerary is a ‘must’ on your list, the Science Center is the museum for you and your family. Perfect for homeschoolers, world-schoolers, unschoolers, intergenerational travelers, curious learners and more, this museum provides daily access into the world of science and can turn the least interested learner into an avid scientist for the day.


balboa park at nightThe Fleet Science Center, located in San Diego’s Balboa Park offers science based learning opportunities for interested parties of all ages. From science camps to workshops to field trips and visits, there’s a science offering for each of the young enthusiasts in your life. For the ‘of age’ scientists in your world, you might want to check out Fleet Night of Science and other events such as the uniquely dubbed ‘Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar.’ Looking for a fun way to entertain and learn at the same time? Find out where the next complementary ‘neighborhood science event’ will be held. The museum also provides access to podcasts, healthy treats, food and new adventures at the gift shop.

The Fleet Science Center takes pride in bringing the opportunities, possibilities, brilliance and beauty of science to the greater San Diego community. Visitors can come to one place to find over 100 unique interactive exhibits designed for curious learners looking to bring out their inner scientists. Open 365 days a year, the Fleet Science Center provides a scientific playground for visitors of all ages. Check out the goodies at the North Star Science Store, grab a tasty treat at Craveology, dive into a multi-digital world in the IMAX or join in on your own exploration in exhibit after exhibit. At the museum, guests are encouraged to investigate, develop, explore, ponder, wonder, think and learn about science, through science and using scientific methods. Whether you’re the budding scientist, interested dabbler or university professor, the Science Center has something to peak your interest.

Visitor Information

Hours: Open 7 days a week starting at 10am. Closes at 5pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends.

Admission: Adults 13+: $21.95, Seniors 65+: $19.95, Juniors (3-12): $18.95. 

Must See Features

Movies and Digital Shows

At the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater movies and planetarium shows come to life in a world of 360 degrees. The museum is presently showing Extreme Weather, Jerusalem, National Parks Adventure, A Beautiful Planet, Coral Reef Adventure and Adventures in Wild California

Visiting Exhibitions

  • Art of the Brick: The World’s Largest Display of LEGO Art
  • Fit-A-Brick Build Zone: LEGO lovers unite and channel their creativity into concrete creations here
  • Retro-Active Science: Hands-on science exhibits for the budding scientist in all of us

Permanent Exhibitions

  • Block Busters: Find your inner engineer and try your hand at building, crafting and creating with KEVA planks.
  • Cellular Journey: Bring out the biologist in you! Delve into the behind-the-scenes of your own human cell biology, the significance of stem cells and their impact on medicine’s future.
  • Kid City: Ages five and under can learn, jump, create, move, develop and enjoy this interactive exhibit made just for them.
  • Nano: Journey into the world of large-scale discovery in an extremely tiny space.
  • Power Play San Diego: Calling all civil engineers, city planners and environment fans! This exhibit showcases the wonders and intricacies of a power grid and the world of energy.
  • San Diego’s Water: Water, water everywhere! Conserve, preserve, process and deliver are words of the day in this exhibit that stars one of the world’s most vital resources – water.
  • So Watt!:  Learn, discover, and create your own energy in this exhibit dedicated to understanding the details in many of the common ways for the production of electricity.
  • Tinkering Studio: Bring out the scientist within while exploring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) activities.

Learning Communities

The Fleet Science Center provides accessible learning on a grand scale. Either you can go to the museum or the museum can go to you! For your learning enjoyment, The Science Center offers ‘field trips, hands-on exhibits, IMAX films, learning lab workshops, scout programs, preschool programs and winter, spring, and summer camps’. If schools would like the museum’s Education Department to visit, they can provide meaningful programs through workshops, shows and after school activity programs. Between Teacher Professional Development workshops and fun science events to the over 21-crowd, there’s learning available for everyone in every format. For community opportunities, take a look at the museum’s 52 Weeks of Science celebration in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights.

Things to do nearby

Balboa ParkBalboa Park

Balboa Park is San Diego’s major green space. Replete with learning of all sorts, visitors can spend an hour, a week, a month or more discovering all of its nuggets of wisdom. In the park alone, there are over 15 varied museums to explore, hiking trails to enjoy, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the UN gift shop and international cottages, the Spanish Village, the Old Globe, the famed San Diego Zoo and more. Check out the fountains in The Prado year ‘round and in the summer, head on down to Food Truck Fridays featuring food truck flavors the likes of burgers, tacos, and beer. A short bus ride takes you to all parts of San Diego. You can visit the lively neighborhood of Hillcrest complete with restaurants and shops. You can head towards Banker’s Hill for the eclectic mix of coffee spots and local cuisine. Or you can ride a bit further and be smack dab in the center of downtown San Diego featuring the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the Embarcadero and the wafting aromas of Little Italy. If you’re up for a bit of a walk from the park, head down the giant hill of Park Boulevard and you’ll wind up in the center of the East Village filled with breweries, local restaurants, the marina and San Diego’s own major league baseball stadium, Petco Park.

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